If a bear kills a human, it is usually euthanized as in the case of a grizzly bear that partially ate a man in Yellowstone

It also seems likely to end sadly for the bears. Park officials have captured the sow believed to have killed Crosby along with one of her two cubs. If DNA evidence matches her to the killing, she will be euthanized and her cubs offered to a rehabilitation center or zoo.


However, in the situation that a person had to use their can of bear spray on a bear and it worked as intended with no injuries to the person, what actions would authorities take regarding the bear (if any)?

  • 1
    Please clarify: do you mean (1) what would the authorities do with the bear -- if they caught it; or (2) what would be the effects of the spray on the bear?
    – ab2
    Aug 24, 2017 at 3:01
  • 1
    @ab2 What the authorities would do to the bear Aug 24, 2017 at 3:02
  • 1
    This will most likely depend a lot on the country, possibly even which state or national park this happens. From your example I assume the question is at least specific to the US and thus added that tag. Please correct or narrow this down as appropriate.
    – imsodin
    Aug 24, 2017 at 7:15
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    Normally they give it to me and we thumb wrastle Aug 24, 2017 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


The answer to this question depends a lot on the situation. If the bear runs away after being sprayed, then it gets away with a runny nose and burning eyes/lungs for a while and a reason not to approach people again. Problem solved. The people who sprayed the bear may or may not report it depending on the whole situation. I've met multiple bears I could have sprayed, but instead just let them keep moving along. If the bear leaves and everyone is doing fine then there's no need to do anything else.

If it's a nuisance bear, and keeps returning after getting sprayed, then officers get involved and relocate the bear as they would any other nuisance bear. If people get hurt, or if the bear is acting aggressive, or harassing people, then it's most likely going to get euthanized.

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